Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool aren’t defending any differently from last season, despite their backline looking more vulnerable in this campaign.
Liverpool finished the 2018/19 season with a league-high 21 clean sheets, with the Reds conceding just 22 league goals over the entire campaign. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker picked up the Golden Glove and Virgil van Dijk was named the PFA Player of the Year following a stellar year at the back.
This season though, the Reds defence hasn’t looked quite as solid having conceded four goals in their opening five Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet.
Van Dijk’s error led to Napoli’s second goal in their 2-0 defeat in the Champions League in midweek, while some teams seem to be targeting full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold as a point of weakness in the Liverpool backline.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Chelsea, who put five past the usually resilient Wolves in their most recent league outing, Jurgen Klopp has insisted that his side isn’t doing anything differently at the back this season, claiming the goals they have conceded are anomalous.
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) September 19, 2019
“There is no difference, goals that have happened are completely strange,” Klopp insisted at his pre-match press conference.
“We still have to improve but we are early in the season, it’s not to do with a different season.”
“We haven’t focused more on defensive things. The goals [against us] happen strangely, like Southampton.
“It’s not exactly what we want but we want to win football games. We have to improve and develop and that’s how it is. It’s not because we have a different approach.”
Despite their perceived defensive issues, Liverpool go into this weekend sitting comfortably at the top of the table winning all five of their opening fixtures, establishing a five-point gap between them and champions Manchester City.